One of the most powerful acts of paradigm-shifting rebellion is to think for ourselves.
For thousands of years, oppressive cultural systems (religion, education, media, family, politics, economy, and culture) have held the collective hostage to smallness. Designed to ensure a compliant method of thought, these antiquated systems have succeeded in nothing more than destroying the soul. The cumulative effects of this separation-based consciousness have not been pretty. On a personal level, abnormal ailments such as: obesity, anxiety, depression, addiction, selfishness, low self-worth, narcissism, greed, judgement, and fear plague our consciousness.
On a collective level, we witness the ongoing lunacy of: climate change, war, rape, misogyny, sexism, racism, speciesism, dying oceans, over-consumption, environmental destruction, and the gluttonous destruction of billions of animals to feed nothing more than a deeply rooted cultural addiction.
The low level of patriarchal consciousness that has trapped us in separation (competition, fear, consumption, conformity, judgement, and indifference) for far too long, is growing weary however. As dissatisfaction with personal and global circumstances awakens the hearts of people around the globe, patriarchal consciousness is losing its grip on the human psyche.
Within every one of us lies a dormant seed of awakening; an expression of infinite, expansive potential. What will it take to awaken the giant from within?
The answer lies in one powerful word. Courage. The embodied union of head and heart with action.
As author Brené Brown says that, “Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.”
Courage is the unwavering passion that drives us towards the voice of our heart. It is the willingness to take action towards a greater purpose despite uncertainty, risk, pain, and fear. It is the compulsion to persevere in the face of adversity. It is speaking out and taking a stand for what is life-affirming, true and right. Courage is the power of spirit animating flesh for the creation of a better you, and a better world.
Enter Roz Savage, author, speaker, life-coach, adventurer, and earth warrior. Roz is best known as the first woman to row solo three oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian. While confined to a 23-foot rowboat, she’s rowed 15,000 miles, spent over 500 days of her life at sea, and taken more than 5 millions oar strokes. She capsized three times in a 24-hour period, faced death by dehydration, encountered endless sea life, and was graced by the breathtaking beauty of untarnished sunrises, sunsets, and star-filled skies. She’s spoken on the TEDx stage and has written two powerful books about her experiences, “Rowing the Atlantic”, and “Stop Drifting, Start Rowing”. Roz is a self-admitted “evolution junkie” on an endless quest for expansion and redefinition.
With her ocean rowing days now behind her, Roz’ latest incarnation is that of life coach. With the recent completion of an intense program of study, along with her plethora of wisdom, life-experience, and courage, she now guides others towards their hopes, dreams, and greater potential. Who better to speak to courage than one who lives it herself?
Roz shared her journey from unhappy, materialistic management consultant to passionate environmental advocate and ocean adventurer in episode #30. If you haven’t yet listened to it, I invite you to check it out.
Roz’ life transformation was prompted by a simple personal development exercise that involved writing two versions of an obituary. Version one would be the obituary of her dreams. Version two reflected the direction she was heading.
Obituary one revealed the life of an adventurer, a risk-taker, a woman who lived out loud, guided by the passion and courage in her heart. Obituary two revealed a conventional life of normalcy trapped within the boring confines of perceived safety. The differences were startling. Something had to change. This was the realization that inspired an entirely new direction in life. As Roz mentions in this week’s conversation, the differences between her old life and her new life are like night and day.
This week, we explore:
• The ongoing process of reinvention. • The many versions of our authentic self. • Fearlessly embracing life. • Becoming an evolution junkie. • How heart wisdom and body wisdom are intricately intertwined. • The differences between female and male power. • The power in community. • The 100th monkey effect. • How the ocean is our connection to life. • How anger moves mountains. • Passion is the gateway to courage. • Action is what leads us out of despair. • Morning pages (inspired by Julia Cameron). • How life is best lived with self trust. • The courage to be different. • Question everything: the power of critical thought. • Saying yes to life!
The greatest block to courage is fear; the “what if” stories we create in our heads that imprison our souls. But “what if” always has two sides. “What if we fail” is easily flipped to, “what if we succeed”. Head or heart. Do we let fear define us or fuel us?